Week 2 of Creating and Using Blended Learning Classrooms: Focus on Digital Storytelling

Learning2gether Episode 440

Skip down to a sample Digital Story: Office hours Feb 28 with iTDi’s Monthly Roundup
Skip down to Earlier Events

The free 3-week, open to anyone, online course on How to Create and Use a Blended Learning Classroom, created and facilitated by English Language Specialist Vance Stevens, has entered its second week, with an exploration of tools for creating digital stories. Digital Stories are ways that students can creatively express themselves in digital format using multimedia tools or a combination of many tools (or a single tool) to create a narrative for whatever purpose they are assigned or wish themselves to communicate. The tools involved in creating digital stories are of use to teachers wishing to set up blended and flipped learning classrooms.

In the first week of the course, participants were asked to explore a few tools useful in creating blended learning classrooms and then try their hand at getting just about anything about themselves up online. In the second week the task is similar but intended to provide scope for greater creativity: to apply known tools or any of dozens of other  possible tools in conveying some kind of narrative and presenting its link online.

This task is one that teachers might assign students, but the purpose in having teachers do it is to have them explore and try out more tools that will help them create blended learning classrooms. Numerous tools and a rationale for using them are presented here:

The 2nd Weekly Webinar kicked off on Wednesday 26 February, 2020 at the usual time of 1400 UTC with Vance Stevens introducing the Week 2 materials on Digital Storytelling. The Webinar was held in Zoom, and you can see the recording on YouTube at https://youtu.be/cu6tk8v2olo

Jane Chien popped by talk about the course and to clarify how she should complete her Week 1 assignment, which she subsequently did by activating her blog, here, https://chienjane.com/2020/02/26/about-jane-chien/ (a.k.a https://chienjane.com/). She’s now the third person in the course to complete the week 1 mission:

Here’s a list that’s now starting to grow of others completing the first of the three weekly course missions:

I tweeted where I had uploaded the recording here:

I used the course hash tag #blended2020, and you can search Twitter for all tweets with that tag (and get the Latest; i.e. ALL posts, not just the Top ones) at this link:

Hopefully content at that tag will continue to accumulate as the course continues over the next two weeks.

(Note that searches on hash tags in Twitter will likely default to the ‘top’ or most popular tweets containing that tag, but if you are using this as part of a blended learning classroom, you will likely want to see ALL posts on your hash tag).

Week 2 Office Hours

A sample Digital Story: Office hours Feb 28, 2020, with iTDi’s Monthly Roundup

The online course meets online every other day, beginning each week with a webinar like the one for week 2 above, and then follow up over the next four days with two consultancy office hours. So far, no one has requested a time for that meeting other than 14:00 UTC, though other times are possible if participants request them.

Accordingly following the webinar on Feb 26, there was an “office hour” on Feb 28 where I was joined by Jane Chien and Don Carroll who contributed their experience and discussed with me their approaches to blended learning environments. All such meetings are recorded in Zoom, and there is a recording of this consultancy hour (actually, almost an hour and a half) on You Tube at https://youtu.be/pDZDxo9e_P8.

I thought I would relate the story of what we did tonight (9 to 11:30 for Jane and I, and an hour later for Don, bundled against the midnight cold in his workshop in Japan) as one example of a way to relate a digital story.

Here then is the Digital Story of this event

The regularly recurring office hour today followed another event which conveniently took place at 13:00 UTC, just an hour before ours. This one, hosted by iTDi, was on a topic that, thanks to the coronavirus, is currently driving at least some participation in the course on Creating and Using a Blended Learning Classroom. I announced this as an update at my Schoology course portal:


Here was how the iTDi event was announced on Facebook:

Fri 28 Feb 1300 UTC iTDi Monthly Roundup on Making the Move to Online Teaching

🤔 Have you suddenly had to move to online teaching? Or are you about to? What are the challenges to overcome and the opportunities it might also present? ⚡️

🔸 Join the next #iTDi #MonthlyRoundup (FB LIVE) with special guest teachers from the #iTDiCommunity, Renata Todorovska and Rhett Burton, who’ll be sharing some of their experiences and insights.

🔸 Fri Feb 29, 1300-1400 GMT:

When I arrived at the event, I was informed that I could declare a watch party. I had never done that before, so I thought, why not, I’ll try it 🙂


To my surprise, within seconds after I did that, some of my Facebook friends joined the watch party, as you can see in the panel at right of the graphic above. One of these, Jane Chien, had seen my announcement in Schoology, was already in the iTDi chat, and had opted to watch it with me where we could carry on our own back channel chat about the event. I captured a little of our conversation here as it pertained to our own course (slightly re-arranged and redacted 🙂

The iTDi event was recorded and you can play it back here

This is what Jane, Don, and I were watching as we chatted as follows …

Vance Stevens – I thought Rhett’s situation was more compatible with ours
Jane Chien – Yes.
Don Carroll – Once again (as always) I’m concerned about the “old wine in new bottles” issue. Is the curriculum the same old “grammar” focus that reflects a “language as system” view of language.
Jane Chien – Yes, indeed. Rhett would benefit from your workshop.
– Don Carroll Now that schools might be closed, everyone is trying to learn online.
Vance Stevens – or we could benefit from Rhett, we’re wondering what people do when they suddenly have to go online
Don Carroll – I’m all for “online” learning. I’m against perpetuating the same old ideas about language just through fancy tech tools.
Vance Stevens – are you teaching online Don? (remind me)
Don Carroll – No
Jane Chien – So, old wine in new bottles isn’t that much of an issue anymore since kids are at home all the time. The parents wants them to learn something online. Most of the asynchronous learning may be boring, so these synchronous classes with teachers is what parents prefer now.
Don Carroll – What I mean is this: If you are teaching, for example, “the verb system” online, then you are selling old wine in new bottles.
Vance Stevens – in my course I’m trying to get people to DO things but most are not that interested, but 3 are SUCCESS
– but why would you teach the verb system online? You can point people to tutorials and actually deal with verbs in online interaction
Jane Chien – Here in Taiwan, kids had a longer winter break because of coronavirus. Online learning has suddenly become very popular for kids…(elementary and secondary).
Don Carroll  – DOING is what online interaction should be about. So far I’m not impressed with what I’m hearing about iTutor. This sounds to me like traditional language teaching being presented online.
Vance Stevens – but people want to be taught, they sometimes don’t appreciate when you are trying to get them to learn
Don Carroll – Maybe I’m a radical, but I feel that the traditional “four skills” are nonsense.
Vance Stevens – I agree with you Don, but I guess people pay to be taught, they don’t know how to learn
Don Carroll – Of course, iTutor is a “commercial product” where you give the customer what they want to buy.
Vance Stevens – i haven’t been listening so much about iTutor, seems kind of irrelevant to [the online course we are participating in now]
– Renata’s situation doesn’t really relate to the purpose of http://workshops2020.pbworks.com/w/page/138546024/Create_Your_Blended_Learning_Classroom I don’t think
Don Carroll – I’d have to see sample “lesson plans” to be sure, but I strongly suspect that what I’d find is the “same ol’ same ol’ that constitutes 99% of the world’s EFL textbooks…basically just prettily camouflaged grammar lessons.
Jane Chien – I heard people mention that iTutor doesn’t pay teachers well.
Vance Stevens – no one does. Online is intensive, you can never get what you put into it in $$ only in what you learn from doing it
– I may be teaching with these people later this year, teacher training. we’ll see
Jane Chien – Don, I think teaching kids in Minecraft is the best! hahahah
Vance Stevens – Matti’s game was really intricate, great video,
Don Carroll – Mattie creation of the game using all the language resources at his disposal is the sort of language learning that online learning should be all about.
Jane Chien – Thanks for putting up with him. XD
Vance Stevens – ok, over to zoom I guess
off to there now
– see you there if you’re coming

And then we reconvened in Zoom, and you can follow the story to its denouement (and coda) here:

There was not much text chat from our Zoom meeting. At one point Don was describing what he thought would be a useful tool for a blended classroom, if all participants could go to single document or whiteboard and collaborate there, in one space. This is not uncommon in many webinar tools; for example the whiteboard in Elluminate, now Bb Collaborate. I was showing him where I could share my screen in Zoom and if I was sharing a Google Doc or Drawing, or any other tool, we could all write on that tool and our changes would appear in real time in our Zoom recording. But in Zoom chat at that point, Jane did us one better:

From Jane Chien : Guess what I found! Annotation tool on zoom, https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115005706806-Using-annotation-tools-on-a-shared-screen-or-whiteboard



Don posted this follow up to our conversation. Interesting article.


Here’s the article

and finally, every good digital story created for this course ends with a tweet-out of what you have done, on hash tag #blended2020, as in the example here


EL Specialist Consultancy on Sunday March 1, 2020

Is coming up at 14:00 UTC on that day

Earlier events

Sun Feb 23 Learning2gether 438 1400 UTC Vance Stevens interviews Nellie Deutsch at the CO20 Live Online Conference


Wed 26 Feb 1300 EST – Joe McVeigh hosts a free TESOL webinar on Needs Assessment for ELT Course or Curriculum Design

Joe McVeigh has invited his TESOL friends, and their your professional friends and colleagues, to join him for a free webinar on Wednesday, February 26th on the subject of Needs Assessment for ELT Course or Curriculum Design. This webinar will be offered at 8 a.m. and again at 1 p.m. EST (New York time)

You can join live on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanEnglishforEducators/
or online at: eca-state.zoom.us/j/975451162

Needs Assessment for Course or Curriculum Design

A new course or curriculum should be designed based on the needs of the students. However, often teachers begin a curriculum or course design project without first stopping to carefully consider and  assess the needs of the learners. In this American English Live event, we look at the process of needs assessment. We review several methods for learning what student needs are, including a menu of different needs assessment techniques and options.  Then we consider how to use that information in course design, looking at basic steps and choices in development.

If joining via Facebook, try refreshing the page at the time the webinar begins.

Thu Feb 27 – Sat Feb 29 2nd Oxford English Language Teaching Online Conference 2020

From https://elt.oup.com/feature/global/eltoc-2020/

What if every teacher around the world could attend the same event?

Well, you can! In 2020, take your teaching to the next level at the 2nd Oxford English Language Teaching Online Conference.

Join us for a series of webinars delivered by leading ELT experts.

  • Watch a variety of sessions focused on global skills, assessment for learning, digital and vocabulary.
  • Connect with experts and share your thoughts with colleagues around the world.
  • Join any of the sessions and receive a certificate of attendance and exclusive ELTOC resource pack

View the “Event Lineup” flyer here:

Make sure you’re part of it. Sign up and we’ll keep you updated about event registration, speaker line up and other ways to get involved!
Watch ELTOC 2019 conference webinars here

You must be a member of the Oxford Teachers’ Club to view them.
Not a member? Don’t worry. Registration only takes a few moments and is completely free.

More into at https://oupeltglobalblog.com/

Vance Stevens interviews Nellie Deutsch at the CO20 Live Online Conference

Learning2gether Episode 439

On Sunday, February 23, 2020, Vance Stevens interviewed Nellie Deutsch at Connecting Online, the CO20 Live Online Conference. The idea for the interview was at my suggestion, the interview was recorded in Zoom and uploaded to YouTube here: https://youtu.be/ywejJikQYKc

In my promotion of the event at http://learning2gether.pbworks.com/, I wrote that I would “inventory Nellie’s projects, find out how she started out on and eventually arrived at her blend of free and remunerative endeavors, and probe her motivations and aspirations. ”

Nellie prepared in advance for these questions and came equipped with slides answering them. This made my job as interviewer one of the easiest that I have ever conducted.

Here is what the event looked like in the CO20 program here:


The slides referred to above (Nellie’s) are here:

As noted above, the interview was a part of the three-day free annual online conference described below.

Feb 21-23 The 11th annual connecting online conference 2020

Links given at the post above

Post Conference

After the conference, Nellie thanked her presenters, put all the videos up on a playlist, and handed out certificates to presenters. Other levels of certification are possible. You can find out more here https://moodle4teachers.org/enrol/index.php?id=97 about this — “Digital Badges will be available for introductions, feedback, and for reflecting on 5 of the live online sessions”


Earlier events

Thu 20 Feb 12 noon UTC LEARNING2GETHER episode 438 – Opening webinar for course on Blended Learning


Sun Feb 23 noon UTC – iTDi hosts Facebook Live with Marcos Benevides talking about his upcoming course on task-based language teaching

Marcos Benevides has been involved in TBLT for nearly twenty years! And he is currently researching task-based assessment, which will also inform this course.

His most recent book is Widgets Inc.: A task-based course in workplace English, 2nd Edition. Since its original release in 2008, Widgets has been widely recognized as the first practical, truly task-based coursebook.

Marcos is also an award-winning co-author and editor of nearly fifty ELT titles! His books have been nominated for British Council ELTon Awards three times (2011, 2015, and 2019), and have won twice. He has also received the 2010 Duke of Edinburgh English Book Award and several Extensive Reading Foundation awards.

If you want to find out more about task-based language teaching, and his upcoming course, join Marcos on Sunday, 23 February at 12:00 GMT.

(Check what time this is for you.) The event will be broadcast simultaneously on theiTDi Facebook page and in the iTDi Zoom Room.


Sun 23 Feb 1500 UTC – TESOL CALL-IS webinar Ways of promoting Creativity in the Classroom with Vicky Saumell

TESOL CALL-IS cordially invites you to attend the webinar “Ways of promoting Creativity in the Classroom” with Vicky Saumell.

Date: Sunday February 23, 2020.
Time: 10:00 am (GMT -5) / 12:00 pm (GMT -3) / 3:00 pm GMT

Please join this webinar from your computer, tablet or smartphone.

  1. Go to the CALL Interest Section-TESOL YouTube Channel. Use the following links: www.youtube.com/channel/UChnWYx1ZGtHnzzpV5t98J4Q or bit.ly/call-ischannel
  2. Then, go to the video that says “Live” Session and has the title of this webinar.
  3. Click the play button and enjoy it!

Vance Stevens begins a free online course on How to Create and Use a Blended Learning Classroom

Learning2gether Episode 438

The opening webinar for a free, open, and online course on How to Create and Use a Blended Learning Classroom was opened by its creator Vance Stevens in a webinar on Thursday, 20 February, at 12 noon UTC.

English Language Specialist Vance Stevens and RELO Bangkok Alice Murray officially opened and introduced the course with this event recorded in Zoom. The course was originally planned to start on February 17, but the opening webinar was delayed to the 20th to allow enrollment numbers to eventually reach 30. As the course was scheduled for 3 weeks, the end date of the course was pushed back to March 11. You can read some of the back story here:

The slides for the webinar are online and available here:

The course takes place in Schoology with a more detailed and coherent backend developed in PBworks, here:
https://tinyurl.com/blended2020 (to give the mnemonic link established for the course, whose hash tag is also #blended2020, as you can see when you search on Twitter here:

It is planned to schedule several more synchronous webinars and office hours at times negotiable with participants, but attendance at the webinars is optional. What is more important is asynchronous participation in the Schoology discussions. But there are no certificates offered for the course, and participants are welcome to drop in and participate in whatever capacity they feel will benefit them at any time over the next three weeks.

I (Vance) explained that the idea for the course is to practice community-as-curriculum along MOOC precepts and take advantage of this opportunity to work in consultation with an English Language Specialist (me) who developed the course following two decades experience in cultivating blended and online learning in f2f classrooms and in distributed communities of practice — and perhaps more importantly, to network with and learn from peers.

Throughout the course, I will model methods for creating blending learning environments which, if they resonate with you, you can apply in your own teaching context.

If you are interested in participating, please visit this page:

and follow the instructions there for enrolling in the Schoology course and participating in the webinars, if you are able to do so.

Please feel free to distribute this announcement to anyone you feel would be interested. Enrollment is open and the EL Specialist is available from Thu Feb 20 to Wed March 11, 2020.

For more information

The course takes place in Schoology at this address

But you can only reach that address if log in to your account at Schoology (free) and then access the course through your control panel. To do this you must first enroll in the course, using the access code PPZF-676N-BGXQW

Step by step instructions for doing that, with screen shots, are given here:

Live online webinars and consultation opportunities which I call office hours were scheduled every other day throughout the course, all of them at 1400 UTC, which was the time agreed upon by attendees at the first webinar, and absent any feedback to the contrary from anyone else in the course.

Schoology has a category of materials that can be included in courses called ‘assignments‘ but I prefer to call these missions, an idea I got from Shelly Sanchez Terrell some time ago. Accordingly, the mission for the first week of the course was essentially to orient in the course and then produce a “digital poster” by which I meant just about anything you could put online that would get participants playing with the tools and showcasing their skills. By the end of the first week, three out of 40 enrolled participants had produced links to their missions, duly recorded in a Hero’s List, here:

There were two office hours two and four days after the first webinar. Both were recorded in Zoom, uploaded to YouTube, and added to the course recordings archive at


Sat 22 Feb at 1400 UTC – 2100 Bangkok time – First Office Hour

The course on How to Create and Use a Blended Learning Classroom held its first “office hour” on Feb 22, 2020. Not sure if anyone would be there, I (Vance) started on time and dived into the back story of how the course came about. Magali from Ecuador appeared soon after and we talked about how the course can cater to her need to learn more about digital storytelling, which happens to be the topic for Week 2 of the course:


Mon 24 Feb 1400 UTC – 2100 in Bangkok – Second course office hour

At the opening webinar we decided that 1400 UTC would be a good time for our synchronous events in the coming week. Participants can also request other times in case 1400 UTC is not suitable.

You can read more about how this is intended to work here:

As explained at the link above, this course has a webinar or office hour every other day for three weeks. We’re still in our first week with 40 people registered in the course, a dozen or so interacting in Schoology, but only a handful turning up for synchronous events.

This time it was Ti’s turn to drop by and show us the Screencast-o-matic she had produced, and we discussed how she can come to grips with her blended learning classroom by setting up her own portal linked to from the one her school provides. From this feedback I’ve decided to bring that forward in the course and talk about that AND digital storytelling in week 2. More specifically I built a unit on Twitter into the Week 2 materials, since Ti was using this actively in her existing courses. My focus in this new addition would be on the potential of tagging in Twitter as a means of aggregating everyone’s content under tags unique to the course or event within a course.


Earlier events

Sun Feb 16 1400 UTC Learning2gether 437 Wrap-up and closing ceremony of EVO2020


Wrap-up and closing ceremony of EVO2020

Learning2gether Episode 437

On Sunday, February 16, 2020, at 14:00 UTC, Electronic Village Online, http://evosessions.org, held its annual wrap-up and closing ceremony, this time for EVO 2020. The session was run by Carolina Buitrago and Martha Ramirez, our Head Lead and Lead Coordinators for EVO 2020.

In an effort to get everyone to talk to one another, the two lead coordinators conducted a couple of polls and then had the groups go into breakout rooms in Zoom. We found out later that anyone could have recorded a breakout room, but in the main room, the breakouts resulted in silence, so Nellie Deutsch, who was hosting the Zoom sessions, recorded the event in two parts.

The first part displayed interesting display of results from the Polleverywhere (e.g. how the app can form word clouds from data input.

There was then a breakout session. As mentioned earlier, any group in its breakout room could have made a recording of that room. This didn’t occur to anyone, but now we know (for next year, or for our future Zoom sessions)

Nellie resumed the recording after the group reconvened. Here is Part 2


The sweetest takeaway from this session for me was when Head Lead Coordinator Carolina Buitrago thanked us all for our hard work and passion and said that “It is inspiring to see that there are still people who want to make education better without anything in return.”

This occurred at 29:31 in the video here: https://youtu.be/pL0Z-CtAahw?t=1771



The event was announced on Facebook


The official EVO closing ceremony takes place on Sun Feb 16 1400 UTC in Zoom at
https://zoom.us/j/210143084. All are welcome to attend to hear moderators talk about their sessions and to share participant experiences.

  • EVO Minecraft MOOC can carry on as long as there is a server running and as long as people want to play (and learn, of course :-).
  • (Co-hosts wee added to our EVOMC20 group announcement for acknowledgement, not actually expected to attend 🙂


And afterwards


Earlier events


Sat Feb 15 1300 UTC Learning2gether 436 Final EVOMC20 Classic 1.12.2 Play and Learn Time – Mattie’s wool race


EVO Minecraft MOOC 2020 Grand Finale – Mattie’s Wool Race Game

Learning2gether Episode 436

See Jane’s take on this same event
See Mattie’s perspective on the event he created
Skip down to Earlier Events

On Saturday February 15 in the 13:30 UTC time slot organized mainly by Jane Chien, EVO Minecraft MOOC held what was perhaps the final Play and Learn event for EVOMC20 to take place on the  “classic” 1.12.2 server for the Electronic Village Online sessions just ended. Jane asked that the session be recorded and Vance and Olivetree (Maha) both complied.

Vance’s recording is here, at https://youtu.be/ati9_FQrU2A

Mattie’s recording of the last half hour, here https://youtu.be/VAxRqI2dego, starts about where Vance’s leaves off 🙂

In this event, Mattie (Jane’s precocious young son) had set up a contest in which he had placed sheep in a specially constructed flat map on the classic server. At a signal, participants were to collect wool from the sheep until all the sheep were gone. At the end of that round we moved via a series of portals to other locations where more sheep were kept. At the end of each round of wool gathering lightning would strike and set the sheep alight as well as spread to players if they weren’t careful to avoid the conflagrations. Those scenes were very dramatic :-). At the end of all the rounds, players deposited their wool in boxes set out for them and the wool was counted and multiplied out by the number of points each color was worth to get a total points for each player. We then entered a final warp where there was a special stand erected as if in a sporting event where the winner took the highest position, 2nd place slightly lower, 3rd place, etc. The winners were announced and photos taken of them on the podium. It was all great fun, and a powerful illustration of the powers Mattie had acquired under Magician Dak’s tutelege, which if you asked me (or perhaps his mom), would have contributed to his fluency in English.

Another illustration of his powers came on my arrival in the game where Dak had just died (some think it was suicide) due to a set of armor that had been given him by Mattie. When I arrived Dak’s possessions were still on the ground (players in this version of the game would lose their possessions when they were ‘killed’ in game, and these objects would be on the ground ready for anyone to scoop up). I saw the armor and picked it up and despite warnings from other players not to do so, I put it on. It turned out that Mattie had put a curse on the armor, it could not be removed, and the player would experience strange behavior including death rattles while trying to get rid of it. So that was me, and I managed to record myself going through this experience in the video I recorded. Later when Emmanuel (Rose’s equally precocious son 🙂 arrived, he put on the armor, and experienced the same. I had switched off my recording by then but perhaps Olivetree got it on hers.


It was a nice end to our EVO session, if indeed it was the end. Tomorrow we will be in the official EVO closing ceremony scheduled at 1400 UTC, the hour after we normally meet (at 1300) for the EVOMC20 sessions that Jane has been leading consistently throughout this year’s sessions. Other events that met consistently throughout this year’s event were the ones organized by Olivetree Grove at 1600 UTC almost every day, and those that took place on the 1.14.2 Haliwell server at 19:30 UTC each day put on by Dakotah Redstone and Carol Rainbow.

These aforementioned moderators between them put on at least 50 live events, according to my count at
http://missions4evomc.pbworks.com/w/page/134715012/2020_Live_Events, and that list (of 48) does not have all of them. Thanks to them, and to Aaron Schwarz who overcame obstacles to get the server back up and running for us, and others such as Kim Harrison and Beth Ghostraven who hosted us at VSTE, and Abu Fletcher who had to bicycle in the snow to his office in the middle of the night to join us due to the impending and eventually actual destruction of his living quarters (and byzantine delays in getting Internet installed in his current abode, which still hasn’t happened) whew, where did this sentence begin?? and to others as well whom I might have neglected to mention, EVOMC20 can be considered to have been a great success!

At the event last night, there was some talk of finding a common platform for next year. This past year we were divided into silos where some of us followed the proceedings at Groups.io and others adhered to Facebook. We discussed carrying forward with the Moodle provided to us by Nellie Deutsch, which she has kindly provided us but which we didn’t activate for this year, and looking into Schoology, which Teacher Vance is using for some online workshops he’s giving over the next three weeks. Talk of a 7th year of EVOMC(21) is always encouraging, a sign that what we have spawned over the past 6 years has transformed into a true community of prractice.

Thanks to all our fine moderators past and present who contributed in many small and in many very large ways as well to this grand endeavor.

Details of the event tonight (or afternoon or morning, depending on where you are on the planet)

When: Saturday, 15 February 2020, 1:00pm to 2:00pm, (GMT+00:00) UTC
Where: EVO Minecraft and Discord Servers

View Event

Organizer: Jane Chien and Vance Stevens
Description: Yes, we’ve reached the last week of EVOmc and it’s time to reflect. However the playing and the learning continues. Join us to continue exploring, building, trading and learning. If you have questions, ideas, suggestions bring them all with you.

Groups.io Link to message #187

Jane’s take on this same event


Jane’s post to the EVOMC group on Facebook was more descriptive than mine, above

Jane Chien‎ to EVO Minecraft MOOC

Thanks for participating in the wool race that Mattie built. There were three rounds of wool sheering with a point system assigned to the different colors of wool, one point for white wool and 10 points for color/Jeb wool. We were all going for the Jeb sheep but Olivetree was the lucky person who found all the Jeb sheep, one for each round.

The first round was in a desert. Then a portal opened where we were dropped to the second round, which is the overworld. We were bounced off to a field of green slime blocks with grass growing on it. When we sheered off all the wool from the sheep, strikes of lightning were aiming towards the sheep and we had to avoid being struck by lightning. (Mattie, why the lightning?)

Unluckily, Vance was struck when we were ready for the third round, which was the Nether. Oh, no! He lost his sheers after he respawned. I immediately gave him my spare ones.

There were so many sheep in the Nether round that I got so excited until I found out there was another round of lightning and we had to stay away from the sheep in order not to be struck by lightning. Olive shouted: “But I’m away from the sheep!!!! I was standing away from the sheep when I got struck!” Dak explained that there was an area of effect so we needed to stay far away from the sheep. I was so happy that in the end, we all survived the last round!!!

After calculating the points, the winners were teleported to the winner’s podiums and there were fireworks in the background to celebrate their wins!!! Congratulations, Dak, for winning the first place, Olive for winning second, Joe for winning the third place, and Vance the fourth place. I only got 164 points so I was there with Emanual to take pictures and congratulate them! Hurray!!

Here is the thumbnail view from Jane’s Facebook post after the event, from which the above text is taken


and one more thing, Vance Stevens posted on FB that Jane couldn’t help but tell her breakout group in the EVO annual live wrapup event for 2020 about Mattie Tsai‘s accomplishments, and when the participants reconvened Mike Kenteris relayed that information to the whole group, and on YouTube, as you can see here, 


Mattie’s perspective as developer and game controller


The recording itself is at the top of this blog post, or here on YouTube – https://youtu.be/VAxRqI2dego

More perspectives


Jane Chien Thank you so much, Vance!!! Thanks for giving Mattie the opportunity to learn to host this game. He still has so much to learn and thank you for this wonderful experience! I really enjoy watching your video and Mattie’s as well! I did not know Mattie could record the game.

Jane Chien Aaron Schwartz Thank you so much for hosting the classic server! We wouldn’t have had such great fun learning together without having the variety of options to in-game play, the fun plugins like GodMode and all! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!


Olivetree’s post continues, after language learning …

Also, the learning doesn’t stop. When you want to learn something new, if you need help, or you just want to play and experiment while having a chat, just drop us a line on Discord letting us know when you’d like to meet. We will also announce whenever we have community play time. Lastly, you are most welcome to drop in and play on either of the servers, EVO and Haliwell anytime you feel like it.

Nice wrapup 🙂

Earlier events

Sun Feb 9 0420-0450 UTC – LEARNING2GETHER 435 – Vance Stevens on Teaching English through practical projects in coding


Mon Feb 10 CodeVA Computer Science Educator of the Year at VSTE Space in SL

001VSTE Space CodeVA_001.png

CodeVA Computer Science Educator of the Year at VSTE Space

Monday, February 10th, at 5 PM SLT, come hear Willoughby Lorefield (Fara Faust in RL) share information about about CodeVA and their mission to bring computer science to every student in Virginia. She will also share teacher education opportunities offered through CodeVA.

Hope to see everyone there! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Soulgiver/171/130/58


See the announcement at VSTE.org



Joining Second Life 

If you don’t have a Second Life account get one, it’s free. We recommend setting one up at the Rockcliffe University Consortium’s Gateway here:https://urockcliffe.com/reg/second-life/ Download and install the software. While your Second Life viewer (software) is open click this linkhttp://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Soulgiver/155/144/58 and voila! Look for an avatar on VSTE Island and say, “Hey, I’m new!” We will take care of the rest.


Teaching English through coding using collaborative projects that don’t require specialist skills or even a computer

Learning2gether episode 435

Skip down to Earlier Events

I attended the CamTESOL 2020 Conference in Phnom Penh from Friday, February 7 to Sunday February 9. My proposal for a workshop was accepted and scheduled to be delivered on Sunday Feb 9, 11:20-11:30. The title of the workshop was

Teaching English through coding using collaborative projects that don’t require specialist skills or even a computer

The workshop was recorded in Zoom


The workshop sought to show how language skills can be developed when the focus of a lesson is not necessarily on the language itself but more on tasks involving using English communicatively and thoughtfully. Many students and teachers realize that some knowledge of coding is an essential skill in the modern workplace, and are therefore receptive to learning more about it. The presenter gives examples of language teachers who use coding in language classes to promote the 21st century skills of critical and creative thinking, analysis, and problem solving, in addition to the more obviously language-related skills of communication and collaboration.

The workshop introduced and guided participants through a simple activity using a step-by-step approach, presented in accessible terminology, that would clarify for them this relationship between coding and language development. The activity is set out in a handout that participants can use during the workshop and with students later in class. The activity requires neither a computer nor prior knowledge of programming, only the instructions on the handout, and participants were pointed to repositories of many more such activities.


Here is how it appeared in the program

From page 16 in the conference program here: https://camtesol.org/Download/Conference%20Schedule%20v7.pdf


Attendees were provided at the start of the event with the following information, which would also comprise the session’s archives

The link above was created for a longer, 45 minute, similar workshop at ThaiTESOL on January 31, 2020


The same proposal was accepted for presentation at CamTESOL on February 9, 2020, but only as a 25 minute “workshop” with 5 min allocated for questions.

This was too short a time to get participants engaged in doing much of anything beyond grasping the concept, but it was ample time to deliver the presentation as a webinar and leave a recording that participants can review later,

so I made plans to webcast it as Learning2gether episode 435, indexed at archiveindex

Where? In Zoom

Topic: Vance Stevens on Teaching English Through Coding
Time: Feb 9, 2020 04:00 AM Universal Time UTC

This was my plan of delivery

  • A tea break preceeded my presentation so I was able to go into the room half an hour beforehand and get set up before I needed to actually get started at 11:20 in Cambodia
  • I tried to explain the topic briefly and show the audience that a prior lesson could have been on sorting algorithms.
  • I got the face to face audience to play the battleship game and discuss its benefits for teaching English.
  • I had to stop the presentation at 4:50 UTC (11:50 in Cambodia)

I invited distant participants to join us (but no one did)
When? 04:20 to 04:50 UTC on Feb 9, 2020


Announcements were made on these Facebook Groups

And on Twitter



Earlier events

Thu Jan 30 – Sat Feb 1 The 40th annual Thai TESOL Conference 2020

Thu 30 Jan 0630 UTC – LEARNING2GETHER Episode 434 – Plenary talk at Thai TESOL by Vance Stevens on The What, Why, and How of Flipped Learning


Fri 31 Jan 0915 UTC – Workshop at Thai TESOL by Vance Stevens on Teaching English through coding without a computer

I have been invited to give a demonstration and workshop of 45 minutes including discussion, at the 40th Thailand TESOL-PAC International Conference at the Ambassador Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand on the topic of: Teaching English through coding using collaborative projects that don’t require specialist skills or even a computer, on DAY 2: Friday, 31 January 2020 16:15-17:00 in Thailand

Sat Feb 8 2300 to 0100 UTC NYS TESOL TELL-SIG Webinar Double Header on Wikis, AI, Blockchain, and AR

http://bit.ly/webitell to register


Join Zoom Meeting
Time: Feb 8, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Time (presumed to be given in New York time), 2300 UTC to 1 am Feb 9


Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain & Augmented Reality Digital Technologies (ARDT)

Thoughts on Language Acquisition for the 21st Century

Prof. Jasmin B. Cowin, Ed.D.

Gen Z and Gen Alpha continue to drive Augmented Reality Digital Technologies (ARDT) expansion into all industries from corporate environments, marketing to healthcare, and gaming to language education. Location independent, virtual environments hold the promise of exponential expansion beyond the brick-and-mortar presence of schools, colleges, universities and other institutions of learning such as Virtual Schools and Universities. These learning centers are being transformed by intelligent systems that help humans learn better and achieve their learning objectives. The breadth of areas in which AI is already inserted in education includes intelligent tutors or chatbots, personalized learning, smart teaching, learning analytics, reducing student drop-off, education administration, data privacy and ethics. The Blockchain offers new ways of storing, tracking and verifying students’ credentials. This 30 min. webinar presentation will explore these concepts in education, and looks at what the future might mean for language professionals, students and institutions in the 21st Century.

Using Wikis to Develop Learners’ Critical Literacy Skills

Lesley Painter-Farrell


Developing critical literacy skills means arming learners with a variety of skills, which allow them to decode texts, understand text bias and draw on cultural clues to process and synthesize information. Ultimately, learners become empowered information managers (Shapiro and Hughes, 1996), which in this age of clickbait and fake news has never been more important. In this webinar, the presenter aims to illustrate how wikis can be used in and outside the classroom to effectively practice and develop learners’ critical literacy skills and how this application is conducive to detailed and directed text interrogation.Ttwitter